The Serai, Bandipur


Inspired by the jungle and perfect for nature lovers, the Serai Bandipur sits on the edge of Bandipur National Park in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. The resort reserves half its land for the wild and has planted more than 100 different species of trees across the 19-acre property, which has an elevated swimming pool, a restaurant, bar and a range of accommodation.Once the private hunting reserve for the Maharaja of the Kingdom of Mysore, the National Park has been upgraded to Bandipur Tiger Reserve, boasting one of the largest populations of endangered tigers.

Accommodation

There are 24 rooms at The Serai Bandipur including 12 Courtyard Rooms, six Superior Courtyard Rooms, four Mountain View Log Huts and two Residences.

The 12 Courtyard Rooms are positioned in their own private plot, with a garden out the front and a verandah at the back. The rooms have wooden or stone-tiled floors, wood-beamed ceilings, luxuriously appointed bathing area and large, soft bed.

The six Superior or Corner Courtyard Rooms boast an extra living room, along with a bedroom, garden and verandah. The living room has floor-to-ceiling windows, perfect for spotting wildlife, such as deer.

The four Mountain View Log Huts are raised on stilts, with wood-panelled walls inside, cosy bedroom and large bathing area. It boasts its own back verandah, perfect for watching the blue hills beyond the dense forest and observing the wildlife.

The two Residences are tastefully appointed, offering a bedroom/living room area, separate bathroom and dressing area and additional outdoor bathing area. Stairs lead up to a terrace with views of the forest and hills.

Spa and Wellness

The Oma Spa – Oma meaning ‘life giver’ in Sanskrit – has a range of treatments for guests to choose from, all based on holistic and natural wellness. The signature treatment is the Oma Signature, a coffee scrub.

Dining

Sanctuary is a modern restaurant serving a variety of local and international dishes, both buffet and a la carte. Breakfast is served from 7.00am to 10.00am, lunch is from 12.30pm to 3.00pm and dinner is served from 7.30pm to 10.00pm. Guests can enjoy cocktails and after-dinner drinks at Moyar’s Edge bar, where they’ll be able to watch the sun set over Nilgiris or the Blue Mountains.

Access and suggested itineraries

The Serai Bandipur is a five-hour drive or 250km from the Bangaluru International Airport, a two-hour drive from Mysuru and an hour’s drive from Ooty.

The resort can be included in any South Indian itinerary being well connected to Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Mangalore.

‘Must do’ activities

Jungle safaris are the ‘must do’ activity at The Serai Bandipur, with guided tours of the Bandipur National Park available for guests. The national park supports a good population of endangered and vulnerable species like Indian elephants, tigers, jackals and four-honed antelopes.

Staff at the hotel encourage guests to explore the great outdoors and provide binoculars, books on the local flora and fauna, and one of the best nature guides around to inspire and inform. It isn’t unusual to spot a range of wildlife just metres from the property and at night guests can watch from their balconies as deer jump the fences and graze on the land.